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Hearing Awareness Month: Have your ears been tested?

May 15, 2018

If you haven’t had your hearing tested, now is a great time to start. 1 in 5 Canadians have hearing loss and 47% of Canadians with hearing loss are 60 years of age or older.

A senior couple having a conversation.

Spring is finally in the air and with it comes May, Speech and Hearing Awareness month. Many of us take for granted how much we depend on our hearing to navigate through the day. For those with hearing loss, this dependability is all too clear. If you have hearing loss, the resulting effects can have a negative impact on your relationships, your job and even on other aspects of your health.

Here are some facts about hearing loss that may surprise you.

Depression and hearing loss go hand in hand

Hearing loss creates communication difficulties which can cause embarrassment, frustration, and fatigue. Hearing loss can also lead you to avoid conversations, eventually becoming socially isolated. Isolation, in turn, creates feelings of loneliness, misunderstanding and depression.

Most Canadians with hearing loss are not aware of their hearing problems

The Canadian Health Measures Survey of 2012 and 2013 found that 70% of adults with measured hearing loss, despite receiving regular health check-ups from medical professionals, left their doctor’s offices undiagnosed. Just as you have a separate appointment for your eyes, a thorough hearing evaluation by a hearing healthcare professional can help identify and treat hearing loss sooner. In fact, because the prevalence of hearing loss increases as we age, our hearing should be checked annually after the age of 60.

Hearing loss affects our brain function

Researchers have observed that when hearing loss is present, the parts of our brain that are associated with our hearing shrink. The brain then recruits areas of the brain used for higher decision-making functions to process sound. This compensation, over time, can overload the brain and lead to cognitive decline. Some reports have even correlated hearing loss with dementia.

Hearing aids may help postpone or protect against cognitive decline

Modern hearing aids help our ears work the way they are supposed to. Their ability to amplify sound and provide clarity in noisy environments takes stress off you, your brain and the people you talk to.

If you think you may have hearing loss and would like to consult a hearing professional with a free, no obligation appointment, book a test with preferred partner HearingLife Canada today.